Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Boris Johnson to meet husband

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: Boris Johnson to meet husband

Richard would also like to use the meeting to accelerate plans for Mr Johnson to visit Iran after he announced that he would be willing to.

Summoned to the Commons, Mr Johnson told MPs: 'Of course I apologise for the distress and suffering caused by the impression I gave that the Government believe, and I believe, that she was there in a professional capacity.

He reiterated that his comments to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee should have been clearer, saying: "I acknowledge the words I used were open to being misinterpreted and I apologise to Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family if I inadvertently caused them any further anguish".

"I reject any suggestion that she was there in a professional capacity", he said.

He said he would discuss the idea of giving Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in a meeting with her husband this week. She has been confined in a high-security Iranian jail ever since while her daughter, now three, remains at the Tehran home of Nazanin's parents.

Some critics called for Mr Johnson to resign, but Richard Ratcliffe said it would not be in his wife's interests.

There are concerns within the Foreign Office that Ratcliffe might still be arrested by the Iranian police, even if he is accompanying Johnson.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is said to be close to a nervous breakdown.

He said her mood was "uncontrollable" and revealed that she had experienced pain in her breasts and been taken to hospital for an ultrasound, which found lumps.

This led United Nations human rights experts to express "grave" concerns for her welfare, calling on the Iranian authorities to release her at once.

Mr Johnson has sought advice from officials to determine whether conferring the status could help, including what impact it would have on the support now being provided and the representations already being made on Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe's behalf.

Ratcliffe has said a change in his wife's status would allow British officials to "more stridently" support her, part of an effort to secure her release from an Iranian prison.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been held by Tehran since April 2016 after being accused of spying - charges she denies.

He said: 'She has been very angry for a number of days.

'She expressed anger at the guards, but also at the Foreign Secretary, that it had become such a shambles.

Mr Ratcliffe welcomed the opportunity to meet Mr Johnson in person, having only spoken to him over the phone.

Asked if he would make the trip to visit the dual British-Iranian national, he replied "of course", adding there were "obvious humanitarian grounds" for Nazanin's release.

'This is life or death.

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